Tuckerman's

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  1. #1
    jlangdale
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    Tuckerman's

    Anyone that has been here please give me a brief synopsis of what is involved in getting up to the bowl. I'm a noob hiker but I'm thinking of going up there to take some pictures.


  2. #2
    It's a strenuous hike for someone who hasn't done it before, or who's not been hiking very much in general. It's about 2.3 miles to Hermit Lake and the 3 sided lean-to shelters. The hike to this point is on a wide rocky trail, and you'll be in the trees all the way to Hermit Lake. It'll be well tracked out since there's a lot of hikers using it. You won't need snowshoes to hike into the ravine, especially if you're going to wait until the spring skiing and boarding starts when it'll be a veritable conga line of people going up the trail. Then it's roughly another half mile to the bottom of the bowl itself, the climb gets steeper and the trail a lot narrower, though once the snowpack has increased its depth in the Spring you'll be walking above the bushes and trees anyway and not so much following the trail itself. As a rough gauge, I'd plan on 2 hours to get to Hermit Lake.

    If you're going up for skiing or boarding, make some provisions for lashing all your equipment to a backpack frame or to the pack itself. Keep your hands free for using ski poles as hiking aids. Lot of first timers toss their skis over their shoulders and figure on hiking like they were walking to the base lodge from the parking lot (like I did the first time I went to Tucks in the 60's). Trust me, you don't want to be making that mistake...you'll be gaining 2,000 feet in elevation just to reach Hermit Lake and another 600 or so to get to the bottom of the bowl...keep all your gear on your back for efficiency.

    The other thing to be aware of is the weather and avalanche postings which are available at both Pinkham Notch (where you start from) and at Hermit Lake. Take these as the absolute truth. Tuckerman Ravine is no place to mess around once you get up into the lower sections below the headwall, especially early in the year when the snow is new and unstable. The weather itself can be a problem, often times Mt. Washington is in the clouds and blowing snow when the local valleys are in sunshine. If you can't see into the ravine from the base of the mountain and if the weather is marginal at Pinkham Notch, it won't get any better up higher.

    If you're going during Spring skiing season, the best pictures will be from the sides of the bowl in order to capture the true angles of the slope...don't shoot straight up and down. You'll probably need decent telephoto gear for the best pics, but even point and shoot camera equipment will still give you some great shots.

    Enjoy the hike...if possible, try and plan it when the weather looks the best...and bring back some pics for us!
    "Never take no cut-offs, and hurry along as fast as you can." Virginia Reed, Donner party survivor

  3. #3
    jlangdale
    Guest
    Thanks for the good information.

  4. #4
    Great description! I'd add that while you will almost never need snowshoes to get up to the Hermit Lake Shelters (unless you start at 5AM and there was a huge snowfall overnight), once you pass the shelters you may need them if there is significant recent snow.

    Also... check out the mostly frozen waterfall on the way up - it's likely to be a great sight.

  5. #5
    Greg's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
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    Thomaston, CT
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    This old article may be of interest to you:

    http://www.alpinezone.com/skiing/tripreports/tucks.htm

    And these pics as well from a May hike to HoJo's:

    http://hiking.alpinezone.com/01images/tuckerman/
    I ski double black diamonds.

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